New iPhones target China's premium market

Zhu Shenshen
Apple's latest smartphone models are aimed at "stubborn upgraders," according to industry researchers.
Zhu Shenshen

Apple Inc, which introduced new 5G iPhones with a starting price of 5,499 yuan (US$809) on Tuesday, aims to expand market share in China, already the world’s top premium smartphone market, industry insiders say.

In 2020, China is expected to account for 29 percent of the global market for smartphones above US$600, compared with just 16 percent in 2018, according to researcher Canalys. Meanwhile, the US will account for 26 percent of the market this year.

“China has long been the world’s largest smartphone market by volume. In the second quarter, China overtook the US to become the largest market for premium smartphones above US$600,” said Ben Stanton, a senior analyst of Canalys.

So far this year, Chinese smartphone vendors, such as Huawei, Vivo and Oppo, led the domestic premium market with 5G and advanced camera features. Apple expanded in China with the iPhone 11 and cheaper SE models which didn't support 5G.

Apple's newest iPhone models will be available for pre-order in China on Friday. The devices will “target stubborn upgraders at the high-end markets," said Stanton.

Apple is expected to produce 190 million iPhones this year, roughly equal to last year's total, while global smartphone production is predicted to decrease by 11 percent in 2020, according to another researcher TrendForce.

New iPhones are expected to be popular in November when the China’s biggest online shopping festival to be held. Online retailer such as Tmall, JD and Pinduoduo, as usual, will offer coupons and discounts on iPhones.

Dada Group’s JDDJ announced on Wednesday to offer new iPhone 12 fast-delivery services.Through partnership with nearly 500 Apple authorized stores and resellers, Chinese consumers can get new iPhones delivered “within one hour” after Apple started sales since October 23, Dada said.

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